Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10,000 Fans Celebration: "10-Carat Carrot Cake"

I launched my Facebook page for this blog in September 2011. I am elated and blessed to have had such a tremendous response from people who care to be a part of what I call the "SFB Family" through reading my blog and/or keeping up with the blog on Facebook. Last night I achieved a very special milestone on my SFB Facebook page and I am elated and blessed to share the news that the count reached 10,000 fans. I heard from fan #10,000 personally, and that made it even more special to me, because my readers are why I love being "here" in the first place.

I started this blog as a bride-to-be in Oklahoma on the verge of making a cross-country journey to New York following my honeymoon in June 2011. At that time, the lifelong Oklahoma girl became a bride and began a new chapter of my life in a new place. I sat out as a newlywed making new homemaking and cooking discoveries I have shared here and through my FB page.

In the time I have had my blog, I have been asked by several who have started their own blogs the question, "What secret to success can you give me for my blog?" My answer is always the same: the answer lies not within me, but within them. Your blog should be a reflection of your life, an extension of who you are. That has always been my aim. I believe when you are reflecting yourself, that who you are shows through in different aspects of your life that you choose to bring to your blog. One of those aspects of my life I aspired to reflect in my blog from the very beginning has been not just telling, but showing my readers the power of one person to touch someone else. The power each one of us has to do that through any size act of kindness. I believe from the small acts spring forth seeds to grow in size a tremendous amount of good in our world today.

Food traditions and family recipes have always been a special part of my life from the time I was a young child. I seek to share not only some of those recipes here, but the stories behind them, in some cases the people behind them, as well. In doing so, I have been inspired myself to explore in my kitchen new recipe creations honoring these same traditions I was raised with that I watched first-hand in my late Grandma Cleva's Oklahoma kitchen.

Here we are in that beloved kitchen in 1979. She taught me invaluable lessons about cooking and baking, so much of her technique is reflected in my recipes, in my kitchen today. 

As my blog is all about my journey, when I aspired to create a new recipe to celebrate 10,000 fans milestone, I looked to one of the new friendships I have made during my time here in Northern NY for inspiration because it was my heart sister in Christ, Denise, who requested I share a recipe for carrot cake. This blog post also marks the first time I have shared a "selfie" picture with you. Here are Sister Denise and I are last night at prayer time at our friend Sister Karen's home.

My recipe is a lightened-up version of this traditional cake. I couldn't resist naming it "10-Carat" not because it literally calls for 10 carrots in the recipe, but 10-Carat so perfectly describes the joy I receive from my readers every single day.

If you are a fan of The Southern Fried Bride on Facebook, this week I will be having 10 giveaways to celebrate 10,000 fans. If you have not visited my FB page, you can stop by here  and I would love it if you left a message to let me know you stopped by my little Southern fried corner of Facebook.

"Southern Fried Bride's 10-Carat Celebration Carrot Cake"
                                                               2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                             1/2 cup granulated sugar
                                                               1/4 cup brown sugar

                                                            1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
                                                            1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                                     1/2 teaspoon salt
                                          1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
                                                                  1/4 cup vegetable oil
                                                                           2 large eggs
                                                                           2 egg whites
                                                              1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                 2 1/2  cups grated carrots (7 medium carrots)

"Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting"

                                            1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened
                                                         2 tablespoons butter, softened
                                                             1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                3 cups powdered sugar
                                                                 1- 2 teaspoons 2% milk
                   Optional Garnish: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup chopped pecans 

Cake preparation: Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 2 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in center of mixture. Set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together pineapple, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add pineapple mixture to flour mixture, stirring until moistened. Fold in carrots. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire cooling rack to cool completely. Frost cooled cake, if desired, with whipped cream cheese frosting and garnish with cinnamon and pecans. Enjoy! 

Frosting preparation: In medium bowl, add cream cheese and butter. Blend with mixer on low speed until fluffy. Gradually add vanilla, powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk until all ingredients are blended. Increase to medium speed and beat 7 minutes, or until light and fluffy. If mixture becomes stiff, add additional 1 tablespoon of milk.  

Angela's Baking Tip: Using fresh carrots you grated yourself rather than pre-packaged grated carrots will give add more of a moist texture to the cake.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A DIY Valentine Gift from the Heart: "Cherries Jubilation Refrigerator Jam"

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I love to make a homemade valentine treat for my nearby friends and loved ones. This year, I chose to make a cherry refrigerator jam with not one, but two kinds of cherries. I love the flavor combination of red cherries and black cherries. As a special touch, I like to serve it at my house on slices of toast that I cut into a heart shape using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. This is also a fun jam recipe to celebrate the President's Day holiday coming up.

"Cherries Jubilation Refrigerator Jam"
*makes 6 half-pint jars

1 cup red cherries, pitted and chopped
1 cup black cherries, pitted and chopped  
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered no-sugar fruit pectin
3/4 cup water
6 half-pint canning/freezer jars

Rinse 6 clean half-pint freezer-safe canning/freezer jars with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Wash cherries, remove pits and chop in quarters. Place in medium bowl. Do not drain cherries. If cherries have been chilled, set aside until the cherries reach room temperature. In large mixing bowl, combine room temperature cherries with sugar and lemon juice. Stir well. Set mixture aside 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes. In saucepan, combine powdered fruit pectin and water. Stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Immediately add pectin mixture to cherries and stir well. Keep stirring mixture about 3 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Quickly pour into sterile jars to within 1/2 inch of top of jar. Wipe off top edges of jar and cover with lid. Makes 6 half-pint jars. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours to set. After jam has set, enjoy immediately or it can be frozen for up to one year. Once opened, it can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day Recipe Corner: Walnut Cobbler

It's another snow day here in northern New York and it's also been snowing in my longtime home state of Oklahoma. Snow days can be a great time for baking. Today I baked up in my oven a fun change from the usual cobbler: walnut cobbler. This Oklahoma girl uses good old-fashioned black walnuts in my cobbler and it brings me sweet memories of home.

"Southern Fried Bride's Walnut Cobbler"


3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter


1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped (I use good old-fashioned black walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat sides and bottom of 9x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and butter until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Press firmly into baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown. In small saucepan, bring corn syrup and brown sugar to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted. Let cool for 3 minutes. Gradually stir eggs into hot mixture. Add walnuts and stir well. Pour filling over crust. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!